15 harmless April Fools pranks for the workplace
From moving about the desk and chairs to teaming up over a Zoom meeting, here are 15 answers to the question, "What are some fun examples of a harmless April Fools pranks for the workplace that are office appropriate?"
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- Rearrange Office Furniture
- Involve Your Pets
- Send an April Fool's Newsletter
- Get Creative With Your Zoom Background
- Draft a Fake Company Memo
- Coordinate Outfits, but Leave Someone Out
- Bring a Dual Remote
- Offer Oreos With Toothpaste Inside
- Go Crazy With Sticky Notes
- Wrap a Toilet Seat in Plastic Wrap
- Dress as Your Boss
- Replace Your Teammate’s Wallpaper
- Change Up Family Pictures
- Swap Keyboard Keys
- Team Up on Video Conference
Rearrange Office Furniture
One April Fool's prank that is work appropriate could be rearranging the office furniture. During the workday, when everyone has stepped away for a few minutes, find a friend to help you move the desks and chairs around.
Then, upon returning to work, watch as your coworkers struggle to make sense of their new environment. This prank can be both light-hearted and harmless, as it does not involve any physical items or malicious intent. It also shows off a bit of creativity by giving everyone a surprise. Furthermore, what better way to remind each other that we should always expect the unexpected?
Kate Duske, Editor-in-Chief, Escape Room Data
Involve Your Pets
My favorite example of a workplace prank that was part of the travel industry was the Canine Crew Program from Virgin Australia.
Going above and beyond merely allowing pets on board, in 2017 the airline led a handful of us to believe we would be given the world's first canine inflight staff! The canine staff provided a number of innovative (but regrettably phony) services, like dog walks up and down the aisle to stretch your legs and cuddling with lovely dogs to pass the time. That would be paw-some if this were true!
The video they included was beyond cute, and we had a prank similar to ours in the business. We told everyone that support animals were now a part of luxury airline options, and nearly all of my employees signed up to be the first to try them! We even created fake tickets for them to go to the airport and show at the front desk. They were beyond disappointed when no such thing existed. One employee said they will use their own animal!
Aiden Higgins, Senior Editor and Writer, The Broke Backpacker
Send an April Fool's Newsletter
Ah, April Fool's Day! The day when we can all let loose, have some fun, and prank our co-workers without getting into too much trouble. How about creating a fake memo or announcement that's so ridiculous, it's bound to get some laughs?
You could send out a company-wide email announcing that we're all required to wear a chicken suit to work every Wednesday. Or, put up a sign in the break room declaring that the coffee machine has been upgraded to dispense lattes and cappuccinos, but only for those who can perform a perfect cartwheel.
And if you're feeling particularly creative, why not create a newsletter with some ridiculous headlines and articles? I'm talking headlines like "CEO Announces Plan to Turn Office into Ball Pit" or “Employee Discovers Secret Room Filled with Unlimited Snacks.”
Piotrek Sosnowski, Chief People and Culture Officer, natu.care
Get Creative With Your Zoom Background
Since some of us work remotely (or are probably working on-site but still have plenty of Zoom calls), you can prank your co-workers by having another version of you in the background.
You can do this by filming a brief clip of yourself walking around the spot where you usually take your calls. Then you can save it or edit it a bit. You can even try to wave at the camera if you want. After that, use it as your virtual background on Zoom.
You can add the video by selecting "Choose Virtual Background" on Zoom, then choose the video you just filmed. You can even act like you don’t know what’s going on, but you must be determined not to laugh with them.
Mark Damsgaard, Partner and Head of Client Advisory, Global Residence Index
Draft a Fake Company Memo
Try making a fake memo or newsletter that looks as real as possible to add to the humor. You can even use the company's logo and formatting to make it look like a legitimate communication from HR or upper management.
When announcing a new policy, for example, “No more pants, just pajamas” you can provide a justification for the change that is clearly absurd. For example, you could say that research has shown that productivity is directly linked to comfort and that employees who are more comfortable in their pajamas work better.
And of course, use humor in the language you use to describe the policy changes. For instance, when announcing the no-pants policy, say something like, "We believe in empowering our employees to be comfortable and productive, and nothing says 'productivity' like a good pair of pajama pants."
Just remember to follow up after April Fool's (or even at the bottom of the newsletter) to explain that it was just a light-hearted joke!
Samuel Johns, CPRW and Career Counselor, Resume Genius
Coordinate Outfits, but Leave Someone Out
Working in the healthcare field, workplace professionalism is vitally important because we are constantly interacting with clients. You can't afford to mess up and have a practical joke taken too far.
Last year, my office did a tame but still funny April Fool's prank. We selected one person in the office to be the fool, and then everyone else coordinated to wear full yellow outfits on April 1st. There were yellow scrubs, yellow shoes, yellow scrunchies, and even some yellow eyeshadow.
Our chosen colleague was none the wiser, and showed up wearing a perfectly normal outfit, but ended up looking like the odd one out. We're a small, tight-knit office, so we have a good sense of how people will take jokes like this, and she thought it was a riot.
Dr. Shara Posner, Founder, Back To Health Center
Bring a Dual Remote
If you want to trick someone but you like ridiculous, bothersome things, here is one for you. Get a second remote, sit somewhere your buddy or partner can't see what you're doing, and then switch the channels.
Continue doing this in small doses throughout the day until they complain that the TV isn't working properly. After that, let them catch you changing the station one day. The few dollars you spent on the remote control will be justified by the surprise and laughter.
Daniel Foley Carter, Founder, Daniel Foley
Offer Oreos With Toothpaste Inside
Perhaps as timeless as the jokes themselves is this one. In all honesty, it's a very easy prank to do. Oreos are often taken out of the cookie jar. Even though it's essential to have genuine Oreos, add a few imitations to the top of the real ones in which the creamy filling has been replaced with toothpaste. Be sure to be nearby if they start to nibble so you can stop them.
Joanne King, Company Director, ICMP
Go Crazy With Sticky Notes
Covering everything in sticky notes is one of the most well-known practical jokes ever. First, choose the area you wish to cover with sticky notes, such as a mirror, a car, or a desk. Then, gather your sticky notes.
After gathering, put them everywhere, and your artistic creation will surely anger your intended target. As soon as they notice the sticky notes all over, there will be a priceless reaction and never-ending laughter.
Alex Constantinou, Managing Director, The Fitness Circle
Wrap a Toilet Seat in Plastic Wrap
For those who enjoy April Fool's jokes, this bathroom prank will either result in laughing tears or lead someone to want to cut ties with you.
Place a piece of plastic wrap behind the toilet seat's lid. You'll have the perfect opportunity if someone ignores it before using the restroom. Don't get too relaxed, though, as you can end up being in charge of cleanup.
Dean Lee, Head of Marketing, Sealions
Dress as Your Boss
One of the best and funniest, but definitely harmless pranks that you can do for April Fool's is to dress up as your boss. Since every person has their own unique style, you can observe how your boss dresses up for work and copy their style.
This office prank works best if there are more people who will do this. Hence, talk to your teammates and plan this prank accordingly. Make sure to dress the same as your boss, from head to foot, and it will surely bring laughter to the office.
Steven Mostyn, Chief Human Resources Officer, Management.org
Replace Your Teammate’s Wallpaper
One illustration of an inoffensive April Fool's prank that is work appropriate is to replace someone's computer wallpaper with a humorous or silly image. For example, you could change your coworker's desktop background to a funny meme, a picture of a cute animal, or a silly quote.
It's important to remember that any April Fool's prank should be inoffensive, in good taste, and not offensive to anyone. Knowing your audience and ensuring your prank will be well-received by your colleagues is always a good idea.
Derrick Hathaway, Sales Director, VEM Medical
Change Up Family Pictures
One of my favorite harmless April Fool's pranks is to change all my coworkers' family pictures with pictures of me, or celebrities. I like to see how long they take to realize that the pictures on their desk are no longer of their family members. I keep their original pictures safe to give back to them once they discover the fake ones!
Allen King, CEO, Fun Join
Swap Keyboard Keys
A colleague's keyboard keys can be swapped out for those on another keyboard. By carefully removing the keys from both keyboards and switching them, you can complete this task quickly and effortlessly.
Your coworker will be shocked to discover that the letters on the screen and the keys don't match when they try to type. Just switching the keys back to their original positions will end this innocent joke. But, it's important to make sure that the equipment won't be harmed by the prank and that the coworker has a sense of humor.
Jeff Romero, Founder
Team Up on Video Conference
Getting more people involved in your April Fool's prank makes it even funnier. Since my team and I work mostly remotely, it's fun to play around with one person and pretend that you can't hear them over a video conference.
When you get other team members to play into it, you can make the other person think there's something wrong with their microphone. It's a simple but funny prank, and it doesn't disrupt work at all as it only lasts a few seconds before the jig is up!
Daniel Climans, Senior Manager, Digital Marketing and Partnerships, StickerYou